Moonflower was a bit of a strange deal in that the sprawling double album mixed live material from a 1976 London concert with studio tracks from 1977. The mixture also meant that several different lineups were involved, though there was an omnipresent core in Carlos Santana and keyboardist Tom Coster; the pair also wrote most of the original material. Inevitably, perhaps, the live tracks outshone the studio ones, if only because the live selections included reworkings of the tried-and-true crowd-pleasing classics "Black Magic Woman," "Dance Sister Dance (Baila Mi Hermana)," "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)," and "Soul Sacrifice." Yet the studio material wasn't superfluous, yielding a hit single in the Santana-fied cover of the Zombies
' "She's Not There," as well as Coster's delicately haunting instrumental "Flor D'Luna (Moonflower)." Most of the studio (and, for that matter, concert) stuff wasn't as concise or pop-friendly as "She's Not There," but the studio tracks in particular saw the band toning down the more experimental jazz-rock fusion directions they had explored in previous albums, though they were still prone to meander for too long. Commercially, the stew certainly worked: Moonflower
was a Top Ten, million-selling album, their best-seller in about five years. The 2003 CD reissue adds the shorter single versions of "Black Magic Woman," "I'll Be Waiting," and "She's Not There" as bonus tracks.